Cape Legends Interhotel Challenge Awards 2015

Monday, 17 August, 2015
Chania Morritt-Smith
The third annual Cape Legends Inter Hotel Challenge, sponsored by Cape Legends fine wines, culminated in a glittering awards celebration at the Southern Sun Cape Sun, Friday 14th August 2015.

Individual hotels conceptualized table settings in ‘Shades of a Diamond’ judged by Flower Walker (Petals Group) and Debbie Hall (Hall Collection).

This is a national initiative with 25 hotels from the Cape to Gauteng, Port Elizabeth and KwaZulu-Natal on board, all part of a remarkable family of top hotels known for style and gracious expertise. This is a unique occasion, an event that is owned by the hotels themselves, which is viewed by them as the Hotel Oscars!

It is encouraging to see that mentorship, recognition of talent and enthusiasm has resulted in upliftment, a part of the Cape Legends Inter Hotel Challenge from the beginning. What we can do for each other is to use this collective energy, which will have a huge ripple effect on our Tourism Industry, one of the growth areas that needs constant encouragement. In South Africa it is noted that culinary tourism is growing dramatically with tourists visiting Gugulethu, Soweto and many others for dynamic and colourful introductions to our local dishes.An African cuisine that is rapidly becoming a new and fresh taste sensation internationally.

2015 saw the introduction the Skills Exchange Development Programme per region and this year we invited leading Chefs from Seychelles, Davinder Rawat (Paradise Sun) and Cursley Lebrass (Maia) from Mauritius, Chef Vikash Coonjan (One&Only Le Saint Géran) and from Abu Dhabi, Don Chandana Ratnasiri Munasingha(Southern Sun Abu Dhabi Hotel) to Durban.

The aim of the Cape Legends Inter Hotel Challenge is to encourage development in the hospitality industry that will give a much-needed leg up to young talent.

Each of the hotels were paired with an exquisite wine estate making a formidable team as follows;

In Gauteng; The Palazzo Montecasino saw their team drawing with Pongrácz, while 54 on Bath teamed up with Fleur Du Cap, Protea Hotel Balalaika Sandton together with Zonnebloem and Radisson Blu Hotel Gautrain with Durbanville Hills. 

KwaZulu-Natal; Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani and Pongrácz, The Beverly Hills with Fleur Du Cap while The Wild Coast Sun teamed with Durbanville Hills. 

Port Elizabeth; Sun International The Boardwalk Hotel & Spa with Zonnebloem’s Limited Edition, Radisson Blu PE with Pongrácz and No5 Boutique Art Hotel with Durbanville Hills. 

Cape Town; Arabella Hotel & Spa with Zonnebloem, Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel and Fleur Du Cap, while Cape Grace teamed with Lomond, Grootbos Private Nature Reserve and Uitkyk, NH The Lord Charles with Stellenzicht, One&Only, Cape Town and Durbanville Hills, Radisson Blu Waterfront and Plaisir de Merle, Tsogo Sun team Southern Sun Cape Sun, Southern Sun The Cullinan & Southern Sun Waterfront with Pongrácz, Sun International The Table Bay and Allesverloren, Taj Cape Town and Zonnebloem, The Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa and Le Bonheur, The Westin & Neethlingshof and Vineyard Hotel with Alto.

Throughout SA our panel of top judges headed by Paul Hartmann include Brian McCune (Accredited judge of the World Association of Chefs Society), Heinz Brunner (Honorary Lifetime President of the South African Chefs Association and past Vice-Chairman of the World Body of Chefs), Wolfgang Leyrer (past Executive Chef of the Carlton and part of the Culinary Olympics team and now Hospitality Consultant), Manfred Reinhart, Marieta Human (Nutritionist representing South African Pork Producers’ Organisation), Chris de Klerk (CWM Cape Legends), Michelle Grimbeek (Cape Wine Academy), Higgo Jacobs (South African Sommeliers Association), Neil Grant (Restaurateur & Sommelier), Bennie Howard, Samarie Smith (Media 24), Bennie Howard (CWM), Sandy Harper (CWM), Germain Lehodey (Sommelier), Fatima Stanley (City & Guilds External Verifier), Janine Dixon and Johan Oosthuizen (International Hotel School) and Craig Elliott, Executive Head Chef of Unilever Food Solutions South Africa.

Talent, creativity, skill and enthusiasm arewhat our candidate chefs and wine stewards brought to their splendid entries, which was judged by panels of highly respected food and wine professionals, lead by Paul Hartmann of South African Chefs Academy and Chris de Klerk of Cape Legends.

These regional cook-offs took place in June in Johannesburg at Unilever Food Solutions and their state of the art kitchens in KZN and in Cape Town at the South African Chefs Academy with the final held in Cape Town in July.

“There is an art to designing a balanced menu,” says Annette Kesler Editor Showcook.com. “Describing dishes precisely, exciting both the palate and the imagination using choice ingredients; premium SA pork in myriad ways. Lancewood soft white cheeses, Rio Largo Olive Oil and Khoisan Sea Salt.

The winning chef,Charmainne Deacon representing Cape Grace & Lomond, will enjoy a brilliant opportunity of a three-week working visit to the stunning Shangri-La Hotel, a lush oasis in the heart of Dubai. Return flights are generously provided by Cape Legends. A life changing experience I’m sure!

The winning wine steward,Mpho Masiu representing Cape Grace & Lomond,will be awarded with a top bursary from the Cape Wine Academy and from Tsogo Sun a TRAVEL EXPERIENCE in the Cape Winelands, mentored into a world of wine under their top sommelier GeorgioMeletiou and have the opportunity of attending two prestigious wine auctions and participate in the bidding!In addition, she will have the opportunity of joining the judges for the prestigious Platter Wine Guide blind tasting over a period of two days, tasting a large and varied selection of South Africa’s finest wines in the company of some of the country’s most experienced and trusted palates.

Generous practical prizes were awarded by KitchenAid, bursaries from the Cape Wine Academy worth R40 000. A R15 000 Hospitality Property Fund bursary and R3000 Cash award for the most promising chef, while Rio Largo awarded the top woman cook for meticulous presentation a R15 000 bursary to the South African Chefs Academy, The Avanti Award provided generous cash prizes totaling R15 000. In addition fabulous prizes; ScanPan from AL&CD Ashley, Lancewood, Von Geusau Chocolates and books for life from Struik Lifestyle 

ALL THE AWARDS:

CHEF CATEGORY

1st Charmainne - Deacon Cape Grace & Lomond
2nd Robyn Marney - Radisson Blu Waterfront & Plaisir de Merle
3rd MukhtarAlli - Beverly Hills & Fleur du Cap

“Most promising Candidate Chef”
Aphiwe Mzongwana Southern Sun The Cullinan and Southern Sun Waterfront (Tsogo Sun) & Pongrácz

“Most Creative Chef”
Jody Africa The Westin & Neethlingshof

“ScanPan Excellent Kitchen Practice”
Charmainne Deacon Representing Cape Grace & Lomond

“Best Dessert” Awarded by Lancewood
Mercedez Karelse Taj Cape Town & Zonnebloem
Jody Africa The Westin & Neethlingshof
Tshepo Dikgole Radisson Blu Gautrain & Durbanville Hills

“The SAPPO Purple Ribbon Award”
Charmainne Deacon Cape Grace & Lomond

“The RIO LARGO Top Woman Cook for Meticulous Presentation”
Robyn Marney Radisson Blu Waterfront & Plaisir de Merle 

WINE STEWARD CATEGORY
1st Mpho Masiu - Cape Grace & Lomond
2nd Mduduzi Shabangu - Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani & Pongrácz
3rd Mercy Mwai - One&Only Cape Town & Durbanville Hills 

South African Sommeliers Association Award for the most “Up & Coming Wine Steward” 
Bennet Msweli Grootbos Private Nature Reserve & Uitkyk

Best TEAM
A tie between Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani and Protea Hotel Balalaika with honourary mention to Beverly Hills, Radisson Blu Gautrain and The Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa 
Winning a floating trophy designed by sculptor Rado Kirov from Dr Susanne Reuther of Kitchen Aid SA and a private collection of choice Stellenzicht wines from winemaker 
Guy Webber

Best BREAD
1st Belmond Mount Nelson, winning Kitchen Aid Mixers (domestic & commercial)
2nd Southern Sun The Cullinan & Southern Sun Waterfront and 
3rd 54 on Bath, winning Kitchen Aid iconic kitchen accessories.

Best TABLES
‘Most Glamorous Table’ – Taj Cape Town
‘Table most want to dine at’ – Southern Sun Cape Town Team (Southern Sun The Cullinan, Southern Sun Waterfont, Southern Sun Cape Sun)
‘Table that reflects the ethos of the hotel’ - Beverly Hills


Issued by: Showcook.com
For enquiries and photos please contact: Chania Morritt-Smith (Managing Editor) chania@showcook.co.za or cell: 079 1138329
Follow on Twitter @showcookcom #CapeLegendsIHC

Cape Grace Winners Charmainne & Mpho
Cape Grace Winners Charmainne & Mpho

Mpho Masiu & manager Martin (Cape Grace)
Mpho Masiu & manager Martin (Cape Grace)

Mercy Mwai
Mercy Mwai



Mduduzi Shabangu
Mduduzi Shabangu

Lize-Marie Gradwell, Mpho Masiu, Prince Mabena(2014 winner) & Michelle Grimbeek
Lize-Marie Gradwell, Mpho Masiu, Prince Mabena(2014 winner) & Michelle Grimbeek

Charmainne Deacon
Charmainne Deacon

Wine Steward finalists
Wine Steward finalists

Bennet Msweli (Grootbos)
Bennet Msweli (Grootbos)

Lize-Marie Gradwell, Richard Rushton & Carina Gouws
Lize-Marie Gradwell, Richard Rushton & Carina Gouws

Elated Mpho Masiu
Elated Mpho Masiu

Charmainne Deacon (Cape Grace)
Charmainne Deacon (Cape Grace)

Aphiwe Mzongwana
Aphiwe Mzongwana

more news